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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Life Estate and Sale of Home

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: FL, my friends husband passed 5 yrs ago without a will, he had signed a mortgage a month before the wedding, they lived and pd for it as hus/wife until his death. "Jim" had 3 sons from a previous marriage, his widow contacted a lawyer about getting everyhting put in her name. after a year of probate the lawyer said it was done and the house was hers. now without a job and struggling she has decided to sell the home and move on. With a buyer ready to close she was told it was a life estate and the proceeds would go to "Jims" sons. Has she been paying taxes and a mortgage on a home she does not own? Does she have any recourse to recoup the mortgage payments and interest? "Jims" sons had previously signed off on the property, or so she thoought, one even wrote a letter stating he has no interest and it should be hers. Did her lawyer screw this up? She is typical of most and trusted this was done and she owned the home. it is not worth alot ( less than 55K) over the past five years she has pd 30 K in mortgage payments and still owes 20 K, what options does she have if any? Thanks to all who may help this woman

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Life Estate

    Normally the life tenant pays taxes and the interest portion of the mortgage payment. She may have a claim against the remaindermen for her contributions to principal.

    If she went to a lawyer and said, "I own this property and I want to sell it," never advising him of the life estate, he would have had no reason to doubt that, and would not have either been asked or paid to get a title history, so he would have been surprised when it turned out that she was merely a life tenant. So what, exactly, happened?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Life Estate

    She went to a lawyer after his death to get everything transferred to her name only, with the 3 boys at the time signing off on it. however what she got was a life estate on the property. Now with the urgency to sell, she cannot , due to the 3 boys still being on title/deed as heirs. Considering the payments she has made, insurance, taxes and such. If the 3 boys insist on a share of the sale $, can she somehow get reimbursed for the expenses of the last 5 years that she alone took out of pocket. If so can she add interest on it, or is she out of luck and only can claim a 1/4 share of sale proceeds?

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